• synonyms


verb (used with object), vul·gar·ized, vul·gar·iz·ing.
  1. to make vulgar or coarse; lower; debase: to vulgarize standards of behavior.
  2. to make (a technical or abstruse work) easier to understand and more widely known; popularize.
  3. to translate (a work) from a classical language into the vernacular.
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Also especially British, vul·gar·ise.

Origin of vulgarize

First recorded in 1595–1605; vulgar + -ize
Related formsvul·gar·i·za·tion, nounvul·gar·iz·er, nounun·vul·gar·ize, verb (used with object), un·vul·gar·ized, un·vul·gar·iz·ing.
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for vulgarize

Historical Examples

  • But tourists do vulgarize it; and I suppose we did so, just like others.

    Passages From the English Notebooks, Volume 1

    Nathaniel Hawthorne

  • Thank Heaven here is a man who knows how not to vulgarize flowers.

    The Bachelors

    William Dana Orcutt

  • They saturate them with poisons and vulgarize them with unseemly practices.

    The Reconstructed School

    Francis B. Pearson

  • To “paint” the subject merely to make it more real, is only to insult the imaginative power and to vulgarize the whole.

  • I would not vulgarize my unknown source of beautiful illusions by giving it the name it takes in technical catalogues.

    The Parisians, Complete

    Edward Bulwer-Lytton

British Dictionary definitions for vulgarize



verb (tr)
  1. to make commonplace or vulgar; debase
  2. to make (something little known or difficult to understand) widely known or popular among the public; popularize
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Derived Formsvulgarization or vulgarisation, nounvulgarizer or vulgariser, noun
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012